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Is the Government prepared to deliver on the UK's nuclear energy needs? Lords to hear evidence


The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will tomorrow take evidence for its inquiry into nuclear research and technologies in its final two evidence sessions. The Committee will hear from witnesses including Dame Sue Ion, Chair, Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) and Lord Hutton of Furness, Chairman, Nuclear Industry Association (NIA).

In the first evidence session, the Committee will question the National Nuclear Laboratory and the UK Atomic Energy Authority. They will explore issues such as the future governance and funding of their organisations; the UK's future relationship with Euratom and what steps the Government need to take to ensure the UK has a coherent and consistent long term policy for civil nuclear activities.

At 10:40am the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Professor Paul Howarth, Chief Executive Officer, National Nuclear Laboratory
  • Professor Ian Chapman, Chief Executive Officer, UK Atomic Energy Authority

Questions they are likely to face include:

  • What steps does the Government need to take to ensure the UK has a coherent and consistent long term policy for civil nuclear activities?
  • What are the potential benefits, disadvantages and risks from the deployment of SMRs in the UK and more widely?
  • What effect will leaving Euratom have on the UK's participation in long-term nuclear research and development projects?
  • What relationship should the Government seek with Euratom after the UK has left?

At 11:40am the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Dame Sue Ion, Chair, Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB)
  • Lord Hutton of Furness, Chairman, Nuclear Industry Association (NIA)

The Committee will question the witnesses on whether the co-ordination between the different public bodies involved in nuclear research is sufficient and what role the newly reconstituted Nuclear Industry Council can play in any sector deal as part of the Industrial Strategy.

Questions they are likely to face include:

  • Does the UK have sufficient expertise to deliver a ‘nuclear renaissance'?
  • Was NIRAB a success?
  • How can nuclear strategy for R&D best be coordinated by Government?
  • Should the Government be focusing heavily on SMRs?

The evidence session will take place in Committee room 4A on Tuesday 7 March in the House of Lords at 10:40 am.

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